Don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud
What did you hear? I heard that life change is hard. Even if my current existence barely qualifies as "living", the tendency to keep to myself is overwhelmingly strong. As long as I can maintain the illusion that I am somewhat in control, I prefer the predictability of the hell I am in over the uncertainty of how others might react if they knew the real me. As Marcus saw everything and everyone that was important to him slipping away, the illusion was exposed. He wasn't ready to let the whole world in, but knew he wasn't in control and he cried out to God: "Send me a friend." Someone kinda like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwRtsMCXSfw
About the time he was questioning whether his prayers were getting past the ceiling, he met one of his neighbors, who just happened to be our brother Mike Eldredge. Mike invited Marcus to Man Church. "Invited" is putting it mildly - more like compelled him to come and left him no excuses not to at least try it. Even as Marcus walked in the door and got his hug from Papa D, every fiber of his being was saying, "I don't wanna do this! I don't wanna do this!" But Mike loved him. Loved him enough to listen. Loved him enough to let him know that we all carry the scars of past mistakes. Loved him enough to introduce him to a band of brothers who would accept and encourage him and at the same time challenge him to be a better man.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. -John 15:16
In the time that has passed between then and now, Marcus has become a better man. His wife said as much - it saved their marriage. His kids told him so - they have a dad now. And Marcus sees the difference - he isn't angry with God anymore. Now he spends a good deal of his time and energy letting other men know they don't have to live in isolation. There's a better way, his name is Jesus, He's real, and I can introduce you to Him. Some would say that the change in Marcus is a miracle. They'd be right.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21
Guys, I've barely scratched the surface here. If you were not able to join us at the Lodge last Friday, you gotta listen to the podcast. Watch for it at https://www.convoynwa.org/audio/. "I'm gonna lean up against you; you just lean right back against me. This way we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud." -Benjamin Buford Blue (aka "Bubba") from the movie, Forrest Gump.
Heads up, eyes open, men!